Friday, December 18, 2015

The Oldest Profession

This morning while making the rounds, I noticed that Happy Acres linked to a link to an old post from 2009 which I barely remember, which got me to rummaging around the arkive (a lot of good stuff that year), and now there's no time for a new post. Instead, an old post from 2009 that expands upon Al Pacino's satanic dialogue with his son at the end of the film Devil's Advocate. It's insultaining while making some solid points:

--Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven, is that it?

--Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist. --Dialogue from The Devil's Advocate

Satan. What can one say about the archfiend that hasn't already been better said by Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, or Al Pacino?

Now first of all, the Serpent is a genial fellow who is always willing to "work with us." After all, he is the prince of this world -- a man of wealth and taste, a cultured man, an aesthete and silver-tongued littérateur. He never forces the issue, but meets us where we are and presents us with what he calls "options," but what are for us "temptations." He is a seducer and flatterer, always.

--Is this a test?

--Isn't everything?

His Satanic Majesty would probably even request that we not call him "evil." Rather, he would turn the tables and suggest that good is evil -- like his clerks at the ACLU, he would argue that every cop is a criminal and all the Sunnis saints. So please, have some sympathy for the Anti-Christic Luciferian Union, or they will be pleased to meet your ass in court and lay your solvency to waste.

--Cut the shit, Dad! Why lawyers? Why the law?

--Because the law, my boy, puts us into everything. It's the ultimate backstage pass. It's the new priesthood, baby. Did you know there are more students in law school than lawyers walking the Earth? We're coming out, guns blazing!

After all, our courts are characterized by the Adversarial system, in that they are the one place where the Adversary can have the most influence. This is why it is so vital that the Adversary pack the Sssupreme Court in hisss image.

Old Scratch is never more pleased than when one of his deep darklings argues that he is just a figment of your imagination. Like alcohol, he doesn't make you do anything you don't secretly want to do anyway. When prancing around on stage like a Kansas City you-know-what, he has been known to shout out the rhetorical question, "Who killed Kopechne?," when after all, it was Ted Kennedy and the voters of Massachussetts.

According to Tomberg, the "day aspect" of history represents our collective coming to terms with the three temptations in the wilderness. If you will recall, there is the temptation of worldly power, the temptation of abandoning oneself to the lower vertical -- to an unconscious life of instinctual gratification ("cast yourself down from the pinnacle") -- and the temptation of materialism and horizontality ("change stones into bread").

Yesterday I mentioned that all forms of leftism are satanic, but in a way that no leftist would understand or even be capable of understanding. But looked at in terms of the three temptations, we can see that in each instance, the secular leftist has been seduced, but then turns the seduction into a virtue -- which is a great source of satisfaction to the Father of Lies.

--Who in their right mind, Kevin, could possibly deny the twentieth century was entirely mine?

The leftist yields to the temptation of secular power as a result of the rejection of transcendent truth. That is, truth is the most important societal value. It is the non-coercive glue that binds humanity together and draws it "upward" toward the prior unity that dissolves our differences.

But if truth is undermined or relativized, then we have lost our ability to appeal to something outside human whim, which therefore leaves us open to the barbitrary usurpation of power.

Thus, the only way for the leftist to succeed in his will to power is to first confuse us with pseudo-sophisticated intellectual temptations such as deconstruction, moral relativism, multiculturalism, "diversity," "the living constitution," "critical race theory," earth worship, etc. Once these are embraced, there is a "bait and switch," for there is then no way to stand up for Absolute truth. If you do so, then you are branded an "absolutist" or "authoritarian" or "eliminationist."

--What are you?

--Oh, I have so many names...

For the secular left, truth is "multiple" -- if such a diabolically self-refuting notion may be conceived -- and no truth is privileged. This creates the massive void into which the leftist asserts his power. This is why the most intellectually unfree places in all of America are leftist university campi -- as someone once said, they are islands of repression in a sea of freedom.

Step one: all truth is relative. Step two: my relativism is absolute. Step three: I control what is permissible to think. "Political correctness" is the Wicked One's all-purpose Swiss Pacifist Knife. He even loves the name -- "political correctness" -- because it sounds so petty, so trivial, so benign.

But it is as benign as a stage IV brain tumor, for it is the end of the soul's intellectual life and its displacement with the will to power. Ultimately it is a wedge between man and God that with time only increases the distance between them -- which, of course, is the ontological opposite of Christianity, in which God descends in order to bridge that very gap.

It follows that the secular leftist fails the second test by yielding to the temptation to cast himself -- and humanity as such -- from the pinnacle of creation into the pit of animal unconsciousness. There is no higher or lower, no absolute good or evil, just authentic depravity or genuine hypocrisy.

But man is not a mere animal -- or, to be precise, he is the only animal proportioned to the Absolute. As a result, his summa vocation is to perpetually transcend himself in light of the Permanent Real. All other animals merely are what they are, but a man who fails to transcend himself isn't a man at all, but only a beast among beasts -- a monster even, for the monstrous is any perversion of the Cosmic Plan.

--You know, I'll tell you, boy... Guilt... it's like a bag of fucking bricks. All you got to do is set it down.

The secular leftist fails the third test by vainly trying to turn stones into bread, or quantities into qualities, the horizontal into the vertical. As such, the "good life" is replaced with "more life," which is to say, more death, because the world of stones is the realm of death.

To tyrannize man with the reign of quantity is to efface man as such, to remove from existence the very arena where man may become man -- which can only occur in the vertical realm that runs perpendicular to the flatland void of secular fundamentalism. It is the ontologically real world of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, which lay at the One end of our being, vs. the dark world of "sub-matter" slaying at the other's end.

In other words, if the vertical hierarchy of the human world results from the Sovereign Good radiating from the cosmic center to the existential periphery, mankind stands halfway between the Everything above and the Nothing below. We are pulled in both directions -- or let us say that there is a sort of gravity that operates on the human soul. We may humbly "surrender" to the higher, or be "seduced" by the lowyer.

--I'm peaking, Kevin. It's my time now. It's our time!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

One For the Holodex

When I wrote the book of the same name, it was intended only to sketch the broad outline -- like flying over the cosmos from a very high altitude or state of mind.

Complementarily, you could say that the purpose of the blog over these past ten years has been to fill in the details.

More to the point, the book was intended to be written once and for all. I didn't want to get into one of those uncomfortable situations where you write something and then you turn out to be, you know, wrong. That would be embarrassing. And a disservice to readers.

So the book was structured in a circular form. Ideally it would be spiral bound, like a rolodex, such that later insights or details or updates could be inserted in the appropriate section. In the past I've called it the Holodex Principle.

This dodgy and soph-flattering principle came to mind while reading the book Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design.

The book covers in 300 pages what I tried to convey in a paragraph or maybe even just a sentence. I well recall the sentence. It is as follows (it's actually from Robert Wright's Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny):

"In the beginning was, if not a word, at least a sequence of encoded information of some sort."

That sentence appears in a section that is subtitled Come for the Order, Stay for the Novelty, and goes to the difference between design and purpose, for the former doesn't always imply the latter.

A snowflake, for example, has an intricate design, but the design doesn't seem to have any particular purpose. Each design is unique, but one is no better than another. So far, anyway. Perhaps in the future, a race of super-snowflakes will emerge from the existing one.

You could say that mere order exists in space -- it is nontemporal -- while emergent novelty occurs in time. One such novelty is Life itself, which is inconceivable outside the arrow of time.

Now, DNA is a code. But does it code for "life?" No, not at all. Rather, it codes for certain proteins, and moreover, the code must be read by an organism that is already alive. Marshall asks the wholly reasonable questions, How do you get a code without a coder? and How can code write itself?

Put it this way: between Life and mere matter there is a kind of infinite abyss. In order for something to function as a code, it must contain little information itself; it must be high entropy, such that no particular arrangement is more likely than another.

Take, for example, the alphabet (this is actually covered on pp. 71-72 of the book). In order for it to function as a code, the arrangement of letters must not be determined on its own level, but available for use by a higher level in order to form words. If the order of the letters were determined, then we couldn't use the alphabet to say anything meaningful.

It's the same with money, by the way. The purpose of the Fed -- ha! -- is to make sure that currency functions as a high entropy channel of information. It is not supposed to contain surprises like inflation, bubbles, and panics.

As Gilder writes, "the success of the transmission depends on the existence of a channel that does not change substantially during the course of the communication, either in time or space."

It is precisely "Because the channel is changeless, the message in the channel can communicate changes. The message of change can be distinguished from the unchanging parameters of the channel" (ibid.).

When randomness enters the channel, this is called noise. Which goes to what Marshall writes about Darwinian evolution: how can mere noise in the DNA code result in progress, adaptation, upside surprise, etc?

Yes, there is the principle of natural selection, which weeds out the successful noise from the unsuccessful. But is that sufficient to account for the phenomena?

For example, no matter how many times I scratch a CD -- which is likewise encoded information -- I'm not going to end up with superior music. Rather, noise always results in less information, not more.

Radical Darwinists like to pretend this isn't a problem, but this is only because they embrace a metaphysic that makes the problem go away. That is, somehow, some way, information emerges from randomness. But no one has ever explained how this could happen, even in principle.

Unless in the beginning is the Word, however you wish to conceptualize it. In ether worlds, the word is ontologically prior to the alphabet, just as the sentence is prior to the word, the paragraph to the sentence, the chapter to the paragraphs, and the novel to the chapters.

What is the novel? Why, it must be the Theo-Drama -- all five volumes and 2,500 pages (and much more) -- speaking of overwhelmingly complex information that can be slid into a high-entropy channel, in this case the Holodex.

To be continued...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Naughty Self-Esteem vs. Nice Self-Objectivity

Just a short post. Still recovering from this cold...

Where the Conspiracy teaches self-esteem, the Raccoon practices self-objectivity. Imagine, for example, if for just one moment Obama could be objective toward his (false) self instead of in love with it.

Does anyone think he could tolerate the shame? In fact, shame-intolerance is at the heart of narcissism; the false self of the narcissist is specifically erected in order to bypass shame. The shame is still there, only denied and projected.

For example, when Obama claimed that his political opponents treat him like a dog, that is projected shame. At the same time, shame is easily fungible to racial terms; in other words, the interior shame is projected into fantasized racial animus. It is far less painful to be persecuted by imaginary racists than to endure dysregulated shame.

Mouravieff discusses this from a number of angles. For example, he says that it is necessary to "go back carefully through the film" of our lives, in order to 1) "distinguish objectively... between permanent, eternal elements and temporary karmic ones"; and 2) "stimulate a strong desire to cross" what he calls the "second threshold" (which basically involves freeing ourselves of those worldly and horizontal 'A' influences discussed in last Thursday's post).

The person who attempts this "will see himself objectively, as he is, with no make-up, without the least justification or compromise, and with no possibility of evasion."

You could say that this is analogous to how God sees us, without so much as a fig-leaf of self-deceptive auto-pullwoolery. Consistent with what was said above about Obama, Mouravieff suggests that "For the unjust... this vision of oneself seems terrifying."

All of our customary defense mechanisms and rationalizations and self-justifications are stripped away: "all the buffers, all the auto-tranquilizers must be broken and thrown away. All debts must be paid in the proper coin."

So, it's a dark night thingy. But "If he runs away from this monster -- in which he must recognize himself -- this will be the fall, full of the worst dangers."

I'm pretty sure that every man is given the opportunity at least once in his life to visit this crossroads and make his adjustments accordingly. You can run away, but please be aware that you will be chased. And if caught, you will actually be given another opportunity to repent.

I suppose most people will simply project their demon, as does Obama: "Weak and pitiful, yet demanding and cruel, exterior man always blames other people or circumstances for his lack of success. Everybody and everything are at fault except himself."

This is the inevitable result of the left's victim culture, in that the victim always comes for the weakness but stays for the cruelty, e.g., the campus crybullies (who likewise start with the crying and end with the bullying). All tyrants start with victimhood -- by Jews, by the bourgeois, by the Patriarchy, by White Privilege, whatever.

Such an exterior man is "only a child," and "in most cases, a naughty child." And you don't really leave the naughtiness behind until you extricate yourself from the 'A' influences and rise into the orbit of the 'B.' This is the only real revolution, because again, it represents a reversal of the original Fall.

Perhaps "revolution" is the wrong word, since a revolution is simply a circle, whereas what we want is the spiral: "The curve of life, which for exterior man does not in practice differ from a circle, transforms itself into a spiral and does not end..."

This is the achievement of vertical liftoff, whereas the exterior man simply changes the sets and rearranges the furniture in his film in order to give himself a temporary feeling of being alive with novelty.

Interestingly, we often have to live out our movie until it ends, in order to see its futility. Lucky is the man who can look ahead and see where the script is leading!

I've always remembered one line from this book -- that man must "go in search of the being without whom he is not real." Just as the baby is "made real" by the mother's loving smile, you could say that a man is only made real by his relationship to the nonlocal Father.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Left's Permanent Institutionalization of Man's Fall

I don't remember how we veered down the path of Gnosis, but we might as well finish what we've begun. As I've said before, at least half of what Mouravieff writes strikes me as batty, but maybe a third of it seems quite sound -- at least if translated into the proper terms.

For example, what he calls "esoteric evolution," I would just call spiritual development. Everything in this world is subject to development, and spirit (in man) is no different. How then does this not make me a relativist?

Because all development takes place in the context of the Permanent Real, AKA God, or O, or the Great Attractor. I am not a relativist but an absolutist; however, we are all related to the absolute, and vice versa. In between are the Vertical Energies, more on which as we proceed. (I might add that these Energies can take the form of information, or love, or creativity, or other modalities.)

Let's take the example of our primordial calamity, the so-called fall. From what or whom did we fall? It seems to me that in some general sense, we fell out of the orbit of the Great Attractor. Recall from Genesis the idea that the "unit" of mankind is man-woman. We are created to exist in passionate and intimate relationship, not as autonomous units. Therefore, as we are created twogether, so in twos do we fall.

In other words, not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but a primary manifestation of our fallenness will appear in the man-woman relationship (and indeed, much of John Paul II's theology of the body goes back to this idea).

Therefore, as Mouravieff says, spiritual ("esoteric") evolution, "by its nature, is evolution that involves both man and woman." That is, "the fall was not, as we say today, the fall of Adam, but of Adam and Eve together, each having fallen in their own way."

Therefore, the return must in some sense involve both. Certainly this would appear to touch on the necessity of Mary's role in salvation history. Most heresies contain an element of truth, and so it is with the idea of Mary as co-redemptrix.

In a certain sense -- and I'm just thinking out loud, plus I have a cold that is affecting my thinking, so don't hold me to it -- it is as if Mary is the necessary condition (the without whom) while Jesus is the sufficient condition (with whom). Certainly the whole thing appears to be predicated on Mary's prior and freely given Yes.

And doesn't this follow the pattern of the fall, i.e., Eve as the condition without whom, Adam as the condition with whom? In any event, this is how Mouravieff sees it, that "the role of a woman, on the ascent to Redemption, must be comparable to the part played by woman in the Fall."

In both cases there is a kind of "conception." In Mary there is the conception of God, but to what does this parallel in Eve? "Having conceived in her fertile and artistic imagination the notion of Illusion, the woman, after tasting its fruits, offered them to her husband..."

Here I think it is useful to think of this in symbolic terms, as something that takes place in the psyche. The story is told in mythic terms to relate a much deeper truth of being seduced out of the Great Attractor and into a realm of illusion. Each of us has Adam and Eve within; or, they are names for more general principles and trends.

But there is also a quite literal dimension. For example, this is how the left destroyed black culture, by using the state to drive a wedge between man and woman, and to offer them perverse incentives that literally institutionalize the fall.

Woman, instead of being oriented to her complementary partner, forms her primary relationship to the state (remember "Julia"?). And a man will tend to sink to the level necessary to maintain sexual access. Having first turned from God and lost his orbit, he simply plunges after Eve. Thus, instead of God --> Man --> Woman, the order is State --> Woman --> Man.

Now, "repent" comes from metanoia, which means literally to "turn around." And it is a literal turning around, from world to God, or from illusion to the Great Attractor. Here again, our proximity to the nonlocal goal is the measure of our "evolution":

"whatever guides him towards his proposed goal, helps him to attain it, or contributes to this attainment, is for him a Good; whatever turns him away, retards him, stops him, takes him backwards, and in general anything that creates material or psychological obstacles on the path that leads him toward the goal he seeks, is for him an Evil" (ibid.).

Think about how the dominant liberal culture is nothing but this EVIL writ large. This occurred to me while reading a piece linked at Happy Acres, called Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out. I believe I've posted my own variant on this very meme, but the idea is to turn around, tune in to the Great Attractor, and drop out of the death culture of the left. The whole machine only works because people do the opposite, which is to say, repeat the fall.

The other day I mentioned how it has occurred to me that the left's war on civilization is entirely bound up with sexuality. This book on The Global Sexual Revolution wasn't exactly what I was looking for, as it goes more into how the soul-destroying machine works than why.

But as Kuby writes, central to the re-education (and re-orientation) is abolishing "the habit of distinguishing men from women" and "extinguishing the fundamental truth that mutual sexual attraction between man and woman forms the basis of humankind's" existence.

Mess with that, and you are messing with the very foundation of civilization. The left knows this. And it does everything in its power to make sure that no one else does. But again, their goal is a permanent institutionalization of the Fall, such that the order of the cosmos begins with the State -- not only instead of God but as God.

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